Councillor Tshenolo Leshomo had said that there could be a crisis at the hospital following 'massive' resignations and retirements of senior officers in March.
"The only problem is that some councillors are against the relocation of clinics from local government to the Ministry of Health," Kalenga said. It was announced during a council meeting in March that a public health specialist, a senior scientific officer, a matron, a principal supplies officer and two medical doctors were either resigning or retiring.Kalenga said the public health specialist was on contract, which had come to an end, adding that there is someone acting in the position.
He said that the chief medical officer felt that her work was too much and decided to leave. The senior scientific officer resigned but later changed her mind and decided to stay. "She never even left. She is here at work," he said. He further revealed that the matron has resigned and somebody else is currently acting in the position. He said the principal supplies officer wanted more money and retired, but is still at the hospital on a temporary basis while they are working on a contract.
He said he is not aware of one medical officer who resigned. The other, he said, got a post-graduate sponsorship and has gone for further studies. Dr Kalenga said although his hospital should be running with four specialists, there are currently only three; a physician, two anaesthesiologists and a physician on partnership from the University of Boston.
He said shortage of specialists is a countrywide problem, adding that the ministry is doing all it can to recruit doctors.
Councillor Leshomo requested during a council meeting this week that the management of the hospital be called in again to explain what was happening at the only referral hospital in the district. "We need to know the reasons behind the resignations. This is the only referral hospital, which means it is always packed with patients coming from afar for medical attention. If there is a problem we need to know because this matter affects people's lives," she said.
Leshomo wanted to know if the doctors and specialists have been replaced or not, and what the hospital is doing to mitigate the situation. She said she was concerned with the situation because the hospital previously failed to adequately explain to the council the real reasons why staff was leaving en masse.
"If necessary there should be a commission to find out what is happening at that hospital because we need to know," she stressed.